Archive for the ‘Photography’ Category

Corona Chronicle Eleven: REMEMBERING

Almost a year has passed – a creative week on Anglesey (May 2019) – painting, photography, sewing, reading, watching the world go by — dreaming — remembering.

Tryfan

We had deliberately routed ourselves along the Ogwen Valley. A scattering of snow still kissed the shaded valleys of the Glyders , where in our distant memories the mists around Y Garn had opened to give a window across to Devil’s Kitchen . Tryfan stood clear and proud – Heather Terrace distinct; the Ridge silhouetted against the spring sky; specks of walkers. Did they have the courage to jump between Adam and Eve?

Holyhead Panorama

I had remembered the hut circles on Holyhead Mountain, visited one damp day of escape from the soaking of Snowdonia. I had remembered the pathway to South Stack. I had watched the TV Climb …. Gogarth …. and the names that conjured mystery …. A Dream of White Horses. I lacked the expertise and confidence to consider climbing on Anglesey …. but I could dream and I still do. I remembered tales of the pioneers of my early climbing days … Joe Brown, Don Willans, Ian McNaught-Davis.

Across the Inland Sea, Anglesey

Perhaps it is a mistake to re-visit a place full of such personal nostalgia. Creativity refused to flow, except with the camera. Searches for archaeological sites were unsatisfactory, Yet, remembering eventually prompted a feeling of pensive calm. And, it is good to remember today, when feeling interred in the four walls of the house, as the lockdown continues. Again, I will escape with my memories and dreams and plan new adventures.

Path to the beach, Anglesey

Corona Chronicles Eight: GETTING LOST

I was reading The Guardian (30 March 2020, page 28), and was hit by the headline, “Mobiles mean children will no longer be free to get lost – Attenborough”. The article begins “Children will never again know true freedom because mobile phones mean they cannot get lost, David Attenborough has said.” Further on, he explains that this is something that those of us who are pre-mobile may have experienced, but is unlikely to be experienced by today’s teenagers,

In my most recent experience of being lost, I had a mobile with a map, but no compass. I was going to a conference in London and full of false confidence, I had booked an Uber Taxi. I departed the station and looked for a road sign, but could see none. I wondered around. On the map I could see a ‘blob’ moving, but I couldn’t work out where I was and I couldn’t orientate the map as the sun was obscured. I could feel a panic rising and decided to get a coffee and ask for help. I ordered another taxi, this time confident …. only to see it disappearing into the distance, as I hobbled after it, trying to attract the driver’s attention. I felt tearful. I gave it one more try and this time was rescued. It was a sobering moment. I might be able to navigate across the world, through forests and in mountains, but in an alien environment, the city, I am lost.

Port Quin. The Headland from the window.

Recently, pre- isolation, I went with a friend to Port Quin on the north Cornish, and looked longingly as the sunset over the headland. The next night I commented that I thought I could walk as far as that, but that I might be slow. “We must leave now, to get there and have time to get back before the light goes completely.” She was bemused that I could be so direct. She is not an outdoor person and said that outdoor people develop an innate knowledge of being on and moving through the environment. How could I work out. by looking at a map and the landscape, the time required? How would I know about the time it would take for the sun to move below the horizon? How could I judge that we would have enough ‘night sight’ to return to the cottage? This amused me.

The Headland at sun sets

I am a Duke of Edinburgh Award expedition assessor, working mainly in the New Forest. I think it is this innate way of being in the outdoors that we are encouraging, along with many other things. I am always heartened when young people get lost and manage to sort out their position and put themselves back on the right track. I am also surprised at the numbers of adults I meet who seek reassurance from me, that they are on the right track, when faced with being a few metres from a carpark. Let’s hope that post-lockdown we will again be able to access the outdoors and have the valuable experience of getting lost and then finding ourselves …. and congratulate others when they experience the joy of this simple event.

The DofE group is ready to move off!

Corona Chronicles Six: UPS and DOWNS

I am fortunate that I have had so many opportunities to travel, work and ‘play’. Two years ago we were in Vancouver, appreciating the amazing cityscape before setting off back to the UK. We had re-visited places we where we had been skiing some years ago and were completing our mountains to shore trip (See ‘From Summits to Shore’). I had also been here with my mother a couple of times, so it is a city full of memories. This time we were struck by the contrasts – an amazing city in a superb setting. Yet, there where some streets were the obvious poverty and social needs was so unexpected. How are those people fairing in the current situation?

Camera experiments

Just a month ago we were returning from Cardamom House, Tamilnadu, South India. Here we had had the time to read, write, paint and experiment with photography, as well as enjoying superb food and the company of our many Tamil friends. When we go to weddings and other functions I am hit by the number of people I know and the warmth of their friendship, whether we understand what each other is saying or not. I sometimes think I know more people there than I do at home, which is a sad thing to say. Life here can become quite narrow and isolating.

Sunshine and Showers, Cornish North Coast

Yesterday a friend telephoned. She had gone to the Estate where she worked. People who were self-employed had lost their jobs, others had lost their work, many could not access the Food Banks etc etc. The government, agencies and charities are trying to respond, but there are so many people in dire need and getting things set up takes time. By contrast, earlier I had received messages about how this kind of blog can prompt positive memories and raise the mood. Later, a friend telephoned to read a poem about friendship. These are such mixed times. I know I must remain positive for myself and for others. …. and I’m not rowing today. I am feeling stiff so I am having a rest day … and my yoga teacher has set up an online yoga session.

Corona Chronicles Three: REALITY BEGINS TO DAWN

Last night, it dawned on me. There are probably at least another twelve weeks to go. That is over 80 days. While I quite enjoyed the first two days of isolation, I am realising that there are plenty more of these to come. Talking with friends on Zoom and just on the phone helped. I miss not getting a hug, or reading the emotions in their faces. It’s also good to get letters and emails, because these can be read and re-read. It has even felt that I might be saying goodbye to some people, who are ill. I am definitely saying farewell to a way of life, as attitudes, travel freedoms and materialism are challenged. Having the internet has helped and thanks to TA Loeffler for the contacts about the Banff Mountain Centre Film Festival , with the list of films, and her encouragement at my rowing machine “expedition”. I have achieved some things, but I am really going to have work at keeping myself motivated. I have managed to complete some work tasks that I had been putting off and I now know I need to do a few more days of planning, so that I don’t slump in front of the TV. So ACTION.

Spring sun at Lee on Solent

After my negative start as the realities begin to set in, I have changed the title of this blog to Corona Light. On the internet I saw a photo of the corona around a Brocken spectre. Where have the photos gone of that amazing Brocken spectre in Torridon? so that is another task – sort out those boxes of colour slides.

I must stay positive. It is good hearing children outside laughing and giggling … and then being called back inside to continue their home schooling …. even better ….. oooh I can be so mean! Our next door neighbour has contacted us to say to get in touch if we need anything. Another friend has dropped in porridge as our supplies were getting low (plus wine and ginger nut biscuits).

The rowing has helped to lift my spirits and in my mind I am off the shore at Lee on Solent. I have learned that I must be careful as to what I listen to on the radio, so as not to dampen my spirits.

Spring sun at Lee on Solent

There’s another bonus with the sun. Its has heated up the kitchen, so that we don’t need to turn on the heating until the evening. Now that is a bonus.

Corona Chronicles Two: ADVENTURES OF THE IMAGINATION – LEAVING SOUTHSEA

Langstone Harbour

In my imagination, which is transmitted via the rowing machine, I am rowing down to Cornwall. We won’t get there this spring, to meet up with our climbing club friends as we had planned. It’s a warm sunny spring day as I set off from Langstone Harbour at the end of the road. I have already been to the corner shop to forage for the basic of the food cupboard that have run out, or will do in the next day. I pick up the last box of eggs and feel guilty. I locate the last small loaf of bread. They are well stocked with mushrooms and have just had a delivery of carrots and broccoli, but there’s no cheese or meat in any form. I climb on to the rowing machine and set off.

The rowing machine.

Today my pace is slightly faster than on yesterday’s practice paddle. It must be the superb conditions. I head along Southsea Front. The sea is flat. The conditions are almost idyllic – turquoise waters, cloudless sky, no swell, and a slight current. It’s just coming up to high tide which should push me on towards the entrance to the harbour. It’s an amazing stretch of water full of history – the remains of the submarine barrier; the beautifully restored and elegant South Parade Pier (shown on the home page); Spitbank Fort; Southsea Castle from which the sinking Mary Rose was viewed; and the Square Tower, Round Tower and hot walls, which fortified the seaward side of the old town of Portsmouth. It was from the hot walls that the crew would be transported out to The Victory. And, now I’m remembering how my great aunt said that her uncle used to venture out dressed as a woman to avoid the pressgangs. At first I thought this was a bit of fiction, but when I worked out the dates., I realised that there could have been some truth in the story.

I finally ‘put in’ to work out how to restock the Baileys which is running out. How can I cosset myself with a coffee or hot chocolate laced with this luscious cream if I completely run out of supplies?

Have a good day and keep healthy and positive.

Winter skies

A winter break in Scotland. Mists melt into clear skies and still waters. The sun is low over the horizon. Liquid gold waves kiss the rocks and dissolve onto the shore. A pathway of sunlight leads to the hidden.

Short daylight hours mean that as in one direction the dawn sun rises behind masts, in the other a full moon sinks behind the house fronting the bay at Garlieston. There is silence. No wind singing in the rigging. No cries from wheeling gulls.

The fisherman, entrapped for ever in bronze, watches for the return of the fleet. The fishing grounds are empty. A time for reflection on what once was, as thoughts turn to the future. A time for New Year resolutions.

Ripples and Reflections

Many years ago I was flicking through a magazine and came upon an article about Andy Worhol’s swimming pool collection. I was mesmerised by the translucent turquoise; the patterns and ripples that transformed reality into an organic and abstract work of art. I have since been drawn to the liquid art of The Jubilee Pool in Penzance, now thankfully restored. When in India, I have the privilege of watching and recording the transient magic of the Cardamom House Pool. These are just a few examples of images that have been captured and give me pleasure.

Previously, I have designed four ‘portholes’, which I exhibited at Tuppenny Barn, as part of the Emsworth Arts Trail.

Celebrating Southsea

Southsea is my home. I’ve lived here
for over 50 years and have discovered that my forebears lived on Portsea Island as long ago as the mid 1700s. The sea surrounding Portsea Island is the best of two worlds – a built up sea front offering a cycle route, places to walk, historic monuments, piers and cafes, and a wild less frequented area, where on occasions seals have been spotted.

As always, the golden hours of dawn and dusk are the times for photography. As this is my home, it is easy to work out where the sun is likely to give the best shots. But laziness can mean that I do not make the effort and probably miss some of the best shots.

These photographs were taken at the end of November and the beginning of  December. We had experienced storms and as the waves quietened an Arctic wind brought a crisp clear atmosphere.

Playing with Light

For me, these images have a sensual quality.
Light 1-ojky 3
Lihjy 2

End of Year Reflections

p1060324For me, New Year’s Eve is a time for reflection, a time for taking stock. In addition,  as the year draws to a close, my attentions are drawn to:

  • writing a paper on how we connect with place, and
  • selecting images that might be suitable for the forthcoming Emsworth Arts Trail.

Again, I have become aware that my focus is drawn to landscapes in which the sea or sky conveys a mood, hinting at the spirit of the place.

In the next year, I will challenge myself to move out of my comfort zone and explore other ways of connecting sites, local and further afield.

 

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